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Shubhankar T-14 in Abu Dhabi; Ahlawat rises to Tied-5 in Singapore

India’s Shubhankar Sharma overcame blustery winds to be 1-under through 15 holes when play was called off at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on Friday.

Sharma, who shot 2-under 70 on the first day is now 3-under for 33 holes and T-14 provisionally. He was four shots behind leader Scott Jamieson who maintained his one-shot lead at the halfway stage.

Among the many players in pursuit are Viktor Hovland, Ian Poulter, Shane Lowry and Thomas Pieters.

Lowry was joined by Pieters, Japan’s Takumi Kanaya and Swede Alexander Björk on five under par, two shots off the lead.

The strong winds played havoc at Yas Links but Jamieson remained steady and composed as he battled to a two over par 74 to enter the weekend on a seven under leading total.

So tough were the conditions that the defending Champion Tyrrell Hatton’s five over 77 left him six shots back on a one under total, while four-time Major champion Rory McIlroy had to hole a nerve-jangling birdie putt on the final hole to leave himself in with a chance to make the weekend.

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He sits right on the cut line on three over, with round two to be completed on Saturday morning.

Sharma was actually inside the Top-10 at 4-under through 14 holes with four birdies against two bogeys. With conditions being and darkness setting in, Sharma dropped a late bogey on 15 and will play his remaining three holes on Saturday.

On a day which yielded only nine sub-par rounds, Poulter’s level 72 was all the more impressive and the Englishman sat in a share of second place on six under, alongside his recent Ryder Cup team-mate Hovland who signed for a 74.

James Morrison, meanwhile, was level par through 14 holes and on a six under total before play was suspended overnight due to darkness.

AHLAWAT RISES TO TIED-5 IN SINGAPORE

Indian golfer Veer Ahlawat showed that he is maturing into a fine player as he registered cards of 68-70 in the first two rounds of the SMBC Singapore Open.

Veer, who was 1-under through 12 holes of the first round when play was called off early on Thursday, went through 24 holes on Friday to rise into Top-5 at the halfway stage.

He had logged a Top-10 when the Asian Tour re-started after a 20-month gap in December.

Shiv Kapur (71-69) and Viraj Madappa (71-69) were T-16, while S Chikkarangappa (73-71) was T-47 and Rashid Khan (72-73) T-63.

The cut was expected to fall 3-over and those who may miss it included Jyoti Randhawa, Karandeep Kochhar, Khalin Joshi, Aman Raj, SSP Chawrasia and Jeev Milkha Singh. Abhijit Chadha withdrew.

After being 1-under through 12, Veer had three birdies on fifth, seventh and eighth and was 4-under at that stage. A bogey on the ninth, his last saw him finish at 68.

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In the second round, Veer added a card of 1-under 70 with five birdies against four bogeys to be 4-under through 36 holes.

American Sihwan Kim fired a fine five-under-par 66 in the second round to take the clubhouse lead at 9-under at Sentosa Golf Club.

The American opened up a three-shot lead over Korean teenage star Joohyung Kim who came in with his second 68 to put himself in a strong position to wrap up the Asian Tour Order of Merit title at the weekend.

Korean Dongkyu Jang and Sadom Kaewkanjana from Thailand are a stroke further back following rounds of 69 and 70 respectively.

The USD 1.25 million event is the final event of the year on Asian Tour. Three players were unable to finish as darkness fell.

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